Teddy was calling out for some attention and I have a soft-spot for his failiness. Who knows? Maybe one day he'll fail so hard he just straight up wins...

Teddy pushed his door open with more force than he probably needed to. Fuck it. No one was going to tell him what he needed to do. He couldn't explain the 'why?' of this bad mood to anyone, hadn't been able to despite the fact that the other guys at the garage had periodically gotten used to his moodiness and his 'I don't want to talk to anyone' days. That was a lie, really, not knowing why, not the 'getting used to' part. Well, maybe that was a bit of a lie, too. People didn't accept him so much as they worked around him; people just learned how to avoid him. He was predictable like that, he figured. That wasn't what was making him angry, though, he knew what it really was. His damn birthday was today, one more birthday alone, a downward fall like a fucking slinky, picking up speed when it's about to hit bottom. He headed towards the fridge, long empty of beer from his own indifference towards grocery shopping lately. He snakes his hand instead around the carton of orange juice, pinching the spout closed and shaking it to get the desired level of frothiness, same as he'd done since he was a kid. He must have been squeezing too hard, he realized, as he felt the cardboard yield under his fingers and while the spout tore, juice running down his hand.


He slammed the carton on the counter, opting instead to probe the cabinet for a glass. He settled on a short widemouth one that would catch the contents of the destroyed spout more easily. He completed this particular attempt and raised the glass to his lips, trying to drink the foam off first, another childhood habit. He gulped it down, feeling a slight burn as it hit his throat. Slamming the glass on the counter, he wiped his hands on his pants and decided to leave the mess on the counter for later. He was frustrated and suddenly feeling the weight of the fact that he's alone, that he'll be alone because no one cares enough to wish him a happy goddamn birthday. They might call tomorrow or over the weekend but he's gotta hear the echo of his own loneliness right now and that's just a little more than he can deal with right now. It's not that they don't care, he's not ungrateful enough to think that, he knows that there's a lot of kids and, shit he's not even a kid anymore...it still hurts.

And he's definitely not upset because he didn't call. Nope. If Tom wants to be a fuckin' asshole, that's his problem.

Teddy didn't know, couldn't quite put his finger on when mudpudding in the backyard and box-castles had turned into the occasional stolen joint and Sports Illustrated in Tom's bedroom that had turned into silences that lasted for weeks and Tom shutting himself in his room to mope without explanation and the injuries Teddy'd seen him with now and again.

He just wants to...relax. Let out some of this tension and anger that's starting to burn behind his eyes.

He wandered into the living room and slumped down onto his couch, in no mood to think or put too much effort into what he's doing. Groaning, he pulled himself to his feet (only halfway vertical, though) and dragged himself towards the TV, cramming one of his lesser-used tapes into the VCR. Practically crawling back to the couch, he unzipped his pants and reached for his dick, rubbing his hand back and forth in the familiar gesture. His eyes adjust to reading the shitty lighting, seeing through the shadows and bad acting to tits and ass (nice ass, he'd forgotten that about this one). He can't seem to bring any real pleasure response, though. He takes the tip between his thumb and forefinger, tries to hit that right there spot, but his Johnson's not listening and nothing else seems to be changing that. He's not really hearing the porno anymore, closes his eyes and thinking of that girl who'd bent over in front of him today, thinking of the way her round ass had filled out the seat of her jeans, bright thong poking out at the top, feeling the heat coming off of her...

It's just not getting him as far as it usually would. Disappointed, he zipped up his pants and turned off the TV.

No, none of the usual suspects are going to do tonight. He hasn't got the focus and anyway, he needs more than some picture on a screen or gloss in a magazine. His magazines, though, there were ads in the back of them...companion...ads. He thought they were pathetic usually, maybe good for a laugh, but the more he tried to lose the idea, the more it rounded on him with a vengeance, becoming more and more impossible to ignore. Fuck it. He was lonely, he was pissed, and he could afford to buy himself a damn...birthday present...He grabbed one off the table, prizing the pages apart with some difficulty. Sure enough, there it was. He could do this. Sure he could. He should. No law against it. Well, okay, there was, but there was nothing that said you couldn't make yourself happy if you needed to. And he did.

He suddenly yanked the phone off the hook as if it was going to run away from him and dialed the number.

" Hi. I-uh-need someone."

"I bet you do." He tries not to hear anything distinct in the voice that would identify it for him. He doesn't want to remember that mocking tone.

"Don't give me shit, just give me..." He recited his address, same pauses he'd memorized it with when he'd moved in.

And then he waited.

And waited, refusing to let himself think or get nervous or anticipate.

Waiting for the doorbell to ring had to be one of the longest experiences of his life, but even so, he still wasn't ready when it happened, heart pounding like it was gonna come out of him like one of them chest-buster aliens.

He wasn't ready for what he saw, either. He'd been expecting someone...young, someone who looked more like, well, like someone in his magazines. He wasn't stupid; he knew girls didn't really look like that, most of them. But he'd expected someone at least his age, with the make-up and girl things that girls did-short skirt and everything. She wasn't, well, she wasn't bad looking. She looked like a teacher, maybe, and not in the Van Halen way. Might've been late thirties, or at least she looked it. Her boobs were kind of big, so that was a plus, he thought.

"Close your mouth," she smiled, "You trying to catch flies?"

"Sorry. I mean, what?"

"Never mind. You gonna invite me in or do I have to stand here in the hall all night?"

"No. Come on in."

She looked around, letting out a breath through her teeth.

"Nice place. I meant the fly comment as a joke but now I'm a little concerned."

He could feel himself blushing, an unfortunate 'tell' when you already know you're pale as shit.

"Shut up, alright? Let's just do this."

"You got no manners, kid. What would your mom say?"

Hell if I know...Somehow I don't think she'd be surprised.

"I'm not your first, am I? I can't be...cute kid like you should have girls following you around."

The "kid" thing is starting to grate on him. If anything, he's usually mistaken for being older than he is, not younger. Where does she get off? Thinking of him as some bad child who doesn't know what he's doing...

"You got a bed or were you planning on us standing up the whole time?" She smiles at him, sweetly, and he's not okay with that.

"Yeah, no, I got a room. It's back here." He indicated that she should follow him. God, he sounds like an idiot. Not that that's anything new.

"You keep your room a little cleaner than the rest of your house, I see."

Seriously, knock it the fuck off.

"I don't spend a lot of time in here." He plunked down on the bed, hoping she'd follow.

"Doesn't make a difference to me, honey." She lowered herself to his level and kissed his cheek. Her lip-whatever smells sweet and it bothered him for some reason, sticking in his nose and the back of his throat

"You smell like oil," she moaned, still kissing him (his mouth, now) as if it were the hottest thing in the world.

"I'm a mechanic." He didn't know what to do. Well, he did but it just felt weird right now. Was he supposed to let her do all the work? Or was he meant to participate too?

"My brother was a mechanic. I never liked the smell." Was she trying to eat his tongue? "Well, do you expect me to undress you or what?"

"Yeah, no, sure," he wheezed out, pulled his undershirt over his head(work-shirt having been the first thing removed when he'd gotten home, after his coat) , narrowly avoiding hitting her in the face.

His hands scramble to his pants, trying to unbutton and unzipper as quickly as he can, catches a bit of his finger in the zipper and it hurts but that's the least of his concerns. His jeans make it most of the way down his legs before he started yanking on his boxers and pushing them down just far enough that they shouldn't get in the way.

Oh, god. Warm hands. She's touching that place and doing that thing and his dick is...

Doing nothing.

She's doing everything so right and his stupid stubborn dick is doing nothing.

He could imagine Tom mocking him and ugh, he so doesn't need to think about Tom. He was having a hard enough time getting it up as it is.

They fell backwards and he's half afraid of her boobs suffocating him. She was trying harder now, whole hand around the shaft and it feels great but he's only half-mast at best. She stopped suddenly, sits up, thighs straddling his.

"I'm sorry, this usually isn't a problem..." He hated how pathetic he sounded.

She smiled again.

"I bet it's not. I don't think it's me you need right now."

"Who else would I need?"

"This isn't what you need right now. I'm not gonna charge you. I don't see much point. I think you're less than happy about something and you thought you could distract yourself."

What was with the impromptu Dr. Phil? Furthermore, where did she get off being right? Damn hooker voodoo.

"You seem like a nice kid and it'd probably be a good idea to just sit down and work through whatever it is that's wigging you out so bad. The Mind has a nasty habit of not leaving people alone until they do. No need to see me out."

He was left there on the bed; dumbstruck and three-quarters naked, feeling like the biggest ass in the world. He reflexively grabbed his pants pocket. His wallet wasn't gone and a quick count showed nothing had been taken. He couldn't do anything but lay there for minutes, finally shrugging off shame and embarrassment to pull his boxers up and head to the kitchen.

He started to wipe up the orange juice with a dishtowel, drinking the remainder of the carton at the same time. He idly remembered the pizza he'd left in the fridge and, shame or not, he was kind of hungry. He glanced at the phone again. Maybe he'd been too hasty in getting so mad. Maybe he'd wait just a little longer...